Politics, US News

House Republicans Back Down on Bid to Gut Ethics Office


House Republicans, confronting a tempest of bipartisan criticism, including from President-elect Donald J. Trump, moved early Tuesday afternoon to reverse their plan to kill the Office of Congressional Ethics. It was a humiliating turnabout on the primary day of business for the new Congress, a day when party pioneers were seeking after a show of constraining to switch arrangements of the Obama administration.

The reversal came less than 24 hours after House Republicans, meeting in a secret session, voted, over the protests of Speaker Paul D. Ryan, to wipe out the free morals office. It was made in 2009 in the outcome of a progression of outrages including House officials, including three who were sent to imprison.

Mr. Trump criticized House Republicans on Tuesday for their turn to gut the workplace, saying they should focus instead on domestic policy priorities such as health care and a tax overhaul.

In a pair of postings on Twitter, Mr. Trump called the Office of Congressional Ethics “unfair,” yet he said concentrating on it now was an instance of lost needs. He affixed the hashtag “DTS,” an evident reference to his guarantee to “drain the swamp” in Washington. The remarks constituted an open break by Mr. Trump with majority Republicans, who abrogated their top pioneers on Monday in a vote to essentially diminish the force of the morals office, which was set up in 2008 in the aftermath of corruption scandals that sent three members of Congress to jail. Democrats and ethics watchdog groups were likewise pointedly disparaging of House Republicans, adding to the weight that drove them to reverse course.

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